For a band that came from Greenwich village on a diet of psychedelia and garage jams, Hollis Brown's third album seems far removed from the low-fi, boho sounds of their earlier works. At it's rocky and bluesy best Ozone Park has more in common with bigger bands of the 70s like Fleetwood Mac and Tom Petty than Bob Dylan, and it's flawless production from Adam Landry gives it a ultra modern polish and beefs up the arrangements.
The album seems to time jump from the vintage vibes of East coast bands on a cover of the Jesse Malin track She Don't Love Me Now to scuzzy guitar sounds and funky pop riffs akin to early Maroon 5 on Go For It, while Bad Mistakes goes for a Rival Sons style attack.
Line up changes may in part explain the leap in style and sound. The songwriting is every bit as strong. The driving rhythm of Do Me Right stands out on the album as one of the stronger songs, even if it does sound like it's been picked up off Fleetwood Mac's cutting room floor. The opener Blood From A Stone epitomizes their ability to match old and new. Stubborn Man may praise the carefree bachelor lifestyle, but there's certainly a twinkle in the upbeat charms and the Bo Diddly riff gives the track added twinkle.
Playing with acts as diverse as The Zombies, Toots and the Maytals and Jesse Malin has clearly informed their vintage feel, but also encouraged them to drop the punk acoustics and search for a bigger sound. This album certainly puts the back into a different category and knocks the ball out of the (ozone) park.
Groupie Rating 4/5